Excessive pollution in the air, extraordinary meteorological, biometeorological, and hydrological threats have a negative social and economic impact.
During disasters, the risk of loss of health or life increases. There is also a high probability of loss at private and public property. For example, the cost of losses after only two floods in Central Europe in 1997 and 2010 amounted to nearly USD 7 billion.
To reduce the negative consequences of natural disasters, many countries are choosing to implement an early warning system against threats. Unfortunately, the implemented systems are often inconsistent, so their operation is not effective. How can we remedy this?
The challenge for our client (GIS Partner) was to rebuild an ineffectively functioning crisis management system in Poland, whose operation was mainly focused on flood risks.
The idea was to create and implement the Information System of the Country Shield (Informatyczny System Osłony Kraju – ISOK) – a platform that would collect data on various types of phenomena, e. g. the degree of air pollution, wind speed, excessive rainfall or the possibility of black ice.
The system would send a message to the public administration and citizens after identifying a threat based on its integrated database and module of information distribution (which is adapted to most modern devices).
Stermedia was responsible for the implementation of the notification module and regular sending of messages.
The main challenge for Stermedia was achieving the fastest delivery of information possible via SMS to 2-3 million recipients. Information from the system had to appear simultaneously on the isok.gov.pl portal, where everything is available to the public.
The main benefits of system implementation are:
- reducing losses after flood occurrence,
- pointing out areas particularly threatened by flooding,
- the possibility of making investment decisions based on reliable data regarding the occurrence of events
- improving the operation of crisis management systems at all levels of government administration.
As a result of the work of the Stermedia team, 3 million Poles are covered by the early warning system. Messages about threats must reach them as soon as possible, at the same time as appearing on the ISOK internet portal. We implemented notifications for use on mobile devices, e-mail and as a pop-ups in the browser. When we were creating the system, we used load balancing technology, which creates new instances when a loaded site is detected. This technology is based on the cooperation of websites, and the path -in the case of the ISOK project- is as follows: one service receives threat notifications from the database, then sends them to the queue, and the other service downloads them and sends them for specific notifications. In this way, we avoid downtime and the information quickly reaches the recipient.
The next results of our programming works are the subscription module, which divided into:
– territory (poviats, voivodeships),
– type of threats (flood, smog, hail)
– delivery channels (telephone, e-mail, browser type).
Notifications prepared by Stermedia are sent to phones which support three operating systems: iOS, Android and (the now defunct) Windows Mobile. In addition, they also reach mailboxs and appear as a push notification in the browser. If the email provider is unreachable, the message is sent by a backup server.
In order to increase security and guarantee efficiency in delivering notifications, servers are deployed locally and abroad. Notifications are also available in the browser. To receive them you need to register on the portal, enter your e-mail address and select incoming alerts. In order to obtain more detailed information, you can choose a poviat or province and types of selected threats.